Number One: PACKING THE CAR
A weekend away generally means lifting heavy bags, eskies and/or tents in and out of the car, so it is important to use proper technique to protect your back when bending to pick something up.
- Place the object straight in front of you
- Bend at the knees – not from your back!
- When standing, push up through your heels
- At all times, keep your chest puffed out and head looking straight ahead – this will maintain your back in a straighter position to avoid harmful strain.
Number Two: SLEEPING IN A DIFFERENT BED
Sleeping in a different bed or even on the floor if you’re camping can cause some unwanted back pain and stiffness.
- Take your own pillow. Sleeping on the pillow that your neck is used to will help ease the strain of sleeping in a different bed.
- Stretch before getting up in the morning. Gently reach with both arms above your head, adding in your legs and toes, pointing your toes toward the foot of the bed. Stretch only to a point of mild tension, hold for ten seconds and allow your whole body to relax.
- Take your time getting in and out of bed, don’t rush it. Allow your muscles and joints time to get moving after being in the one position during the night.
Number Three: OVER-INDULGING
Holidays generally mean food and drink in excess to what we usually consume on a daily basis.
- Keep hydrated. Did you know that the intervertebral discs in your back rehydrate overnight, and to do this there needs to be adequate water levels within the body. By making sure you are drinking plenty of fresh drinking water during the day, your back is able to rest and restore overnight, making it ready for the following day’s activities and preventing potential cause of back injury.
- Stomach upset can easily be caused from food and drink we are not used to consuming in large quantities. At times, when the digestive system is irritated it can present as back and neck pain, or even headaches, due to the innervation of the organs involved with digestion. Always try to eat and drink in moderation to avoid too much discomfort.
- Maintain your exercise regime while you are away on holiday. Going for a walk or playing a sports game with the kids is a great way to stay active, keep your muscles and joints moving and assist in digesting all that Easter chocolate!